Just when it seems Michael Waltrip could get no more exposure, with his new book and his singing and dancing in the new NAPA commercial with teammate Martin Truex, Jr., Waltrip has taken yet another starring role.
[media-credit id=41 align=”alignright” width=”269″][/media-credit]Waltrip’s newest commercial gig involves taking some licks from a mechanical rib slapping his face and begging for his sponsor’s newest product, fast acting Tums.
Ty Norris, General Manager of Michael Waltrip Racing, announced the new commercial partnership between MWR and sponsor Tums in the media center at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The commercials will not only be aired on television but will also be featured on the Tums Facebook page.
“What’s really neat today is how some of our sponsors are taking us even deeper into the digital space,” Norris said. “What you don’t see a lot of is activating with NASCAR celebrities.”
“As you might know Tums has been actively involved in racing for a number of years,” Kent Christiansen, Sr. Brand Manager of Tums, said. “The theme of our advertising is when your favorite foods fight you, fight back fast with Tums. We are happy to say that we are leveraging the appeal of David (Reutimann) and Michael (Waltrip) and bringing that into our advertising.”
The commercial will debut this Sunday during the Kobalt Tools 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The commercials feature both Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann “interacting with foods in an interesting way,” according to Christiansen.
Christiansen emphasized that Tums has focused on its younger fans, who “spend hours of their time online.” There are actually seven videos that have been filmed that will be available to fans on their Tums Facebook page over the next few months.
“We think this content is exciting for the NASCAR community,” Christiansen continued. “And we think it will be exciting for fans to check out on the Facebook page.”
The first of the new Tums commercials shows a barbecued rib slapping Waltrip’s face several times as he tries to eat it, with Reutimann watching in amusement. The second commercial shows a giant double stacked cheeseburger chasing Reutimann at the track, pulling him out of his race car and pummeling him repeatedly.
In the latter commercial, fans will actually be able to vote on whether or not Reutimann will take his Tums, with the votes determining the ending. As usual, however, in both commercials Reutimann does not utter one word.
“I don’t know if you notice the recurring theme, but David has another commercial without a speaking part,” Waltrip said. “We’re going to work on that.”
“I’m good not speaking,” Reutimann countered quickly to his boss.
“I can’t get enough of that hamburger kicking my butt,” Reutimann continued. “It was a pretty unique from the rib that Michael was trying to eat to the hamburger. We ended up having to do several takes just because I couldn’t stop laughing.”
“Even when the hamburger comes riding up, thankfully I was wearing my helmet,” Reutimann continued. “I couldn’t stop laughing all day. If it makes me laugh, I hope it will make others laugh too.”
Waltrip advised that he had the hardest commercial to make by far.
“There was a guy sitting behind me and there was a wire in that rib,” Waltrip said. “It took about a hundred takes or at least that’s what it felt like being beat in the face by that rib.”
“Anyways, 25 years of racing a car and that’s what it’s come to,” Waltrip said with a chuckle.
For his part, Reutimann concurred with his boss that the slapping rib was by far the most challenging commercial to make.
“I was covered with that sauce and we had to do all those different angles,” Reutimann said. “I asked Michael to go out for ribs for lunch after that and he was not up for that. The amount of sauce flying everywhere, it was a dangerous area to be in.”
“Thankfully, we all got through it.”
Waltrip, as he does so often and so well, took the opportunity to plug not only Tums but also some of his other endeavors, including the Comedy Garage program and his new book, ‘In the Blink of an Eye.’
“Speaking of making you laugh, Michael Waltrip’s ‘Comedy Garage’ is in town,” Waltrip said. “I have a book out too. Four weeks in a row it’s been on the best seller list.”
Waltrip did become a bit more serious, paying tribute to his team’s partnership, now in its second year, with Tums.
“As a team owner the thing I most like about this ad campaign is that this is the first year they’ve used our team in their commercials,” Waltrip said. “This commitment to Tums is a great sign and we appreciate their enthusiasm for our sport.”